Archive for January 30th, 2010

Big Mon, like Jerusalem Ridge (Tune 1…seems like so long ago), wasn’t completely new to me when I picked it as tune of the day. But it needed some careful study,  and so tune 20 it is. A.D. was a big help for this one, recording a tutorial for me, playing it slow and then a second time through at a medium pace.

Now that I’ve hit the twenty tune mark, they’re all jostling around in my head and melding one into the other. Especially the A tunes. Twice, while practicing, I went into Big Mon instead of going for a second cycle of Gold Rush and Sally Ann. Admittedly, that has a lot to do with my less than focused practice in the last few days. So tonight I buckled down, declining partying and mayhem for a night of responsible fiddling. If there is such a thing…doubtful.

Fiddlers reading this, you know what happened…after an hour or two of metronomes, scales, practicing each tune…Bach came back. There is no escaping! No matter how many Minor Swings or  Sally Goodins or Benton’s Dreams I ingest, those sonatas and partitas keep hijacking my late nights. I took  Chogyam Trungpa’s life advice and surrendered. I even took the mute off my fiddle.  But then, like many late night practice-meditation-trip-salsas, I sat down to account for day 20 of this here experiment, and it all came together with a listening session: Oliver Schroer. If you’ve yet to discover this incredible musician, tarry not!

Today also provided a joyful event in that I remembered a great music book: “All Star Bluegrass Jam Along”. Check it out, it’s sheet music prepared by Darol Anger, with 20 bluegrass standards and solos to go with each, all with a cd which includes both the fiddle and the backing tracks. It’s great to practice improvisation with. I used it for Soldier’s Joy, looking to keep a nice consistent bow and play within the chord structure.

Darol Anger breaks!

Back to Oliver Schroer.

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